Julian Alaphilippe has proven uncatchable by his rivals in the past two editions of the UCI Road Cycling World Championships – but the back-to-back rainbow jersey winner has been caught by the Google Street View camera car while on a ride in southern Spain.
The 29-year-old, who last year won La Flèche Wallonne for the third time in his career and also triumphed in the opening stage of the Tour de France in Brittany to take the first yellow jersey of the race, is being snapped not only by the Google Street View car but also a photographer perched on the back of a moped, presumably for a publicity-related photoshoot.
There’s also a mountain biker just ahead of Alaphilippe – he gets passed by the Quick Step Alpha Vinyl rider a little further up the road, leading one Twitter user to wonder whether anyone will believe him when he’s in the bar later on telling people he got overtaken by the world champion.
— Antoine CRTN (@mewshew) January 2, 2022
The image was captured in May 2021 – a month in which Alaphilippe, who had just completed his Ardennes Classics campaign with second place to Tadej Pogacar at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, took a break from racing.
The Frenchman isn’t the first star rider from Quick Step to appear on Google Street View – that honour goes to Tom Boonen, a former holder of the rainbow jersey, although in his appearance on the mapping app, he was wearing the jersey of Belgian road champion.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.